May 28, 2012 (Masontown, WV) — The JG Off Road/American Honda team had a turbulent time of it at the Can-Am GNCC series’ newest location, the Mountaineer Run GNCC. Despite extraordinarily hot temperatures and tough terrain the team was able to walk away in good health with a top 5 finish out of Brian Wolf, and top 10 finish with Nate Kanney.
“Today was definitely a rough day,” said Team co-owner JT Bennett. “It was great to be back in WV at a new venue.”
American Honda/JG Off Road/ FRE ‘s Wolf started the weekend for the team. Wolf started strong, but two miles into the first lap he crashed and was shuffled to the back of the pack. Wolf put his head down and charged to the front of the pack to the wheels of Defending Champion Chris Borich. The top five riders set a blistering pace, and stayed just a handful of seconds away from each other. Wolf spent the better part of the second and third lap battling with Walker Fowler just out of reach of the leaders. Despite the charge, Wolf would have to settle for a 5th place finish in the XC1 class.
“Two miles to go in the last lap, and I got stuck behind lapped traffic ,” Wolf said. “It really was an awesome day. My hand feels great, and it hasn’t bothered me for about two weeks. I’m back, I’m just not on the podium yet.”
Sunday’s bike race would prove to be a struggle as Jimmy Jarrett and Scott Grills would back out due to mechanical issues from their respective crashes.
“The race was bad from the start today,” Jarrett said. “At first I struggled getting the bike to start and then I got taken out the first mile. My rotor was bent so badly that my front wheel locked up and I flipped over the bars. I got up and went about two feet and crashed before I realized my bike was bent. That pretty much put an end to my day.”
Grills got off to a strong start and came through the woods in 6th place in the XC2 class. From there, it was nothing but bum luck for the young rider. A bent front brake rotor sent him to the pits for a quick fix, but after he clipped one of many rocks scattered across the Mountain State track, his chain guide came off, leaving him stranded in the woods.
“It was brutal,” Grills said. “It wasn’t that it beat me up, but it was a rocky track that you had to take care of your equipment. It really was harder on the bike than it was on me.”
Nate Kanney would salvage the day for the team with his competitive pace on the track. Kanney spent the day battling with Garrett Edmisten and Jordan Ashburn until a prior back injury from last month began to flare up. Kanney went from the top 5 to settle for 10th for the day.
“It started to become pretty difficult for me after my back started to hurt,” Kanney said. “When I slowed down the heat bothered me twice as much. I just wanted to finish the race. I didn’t want to quit because of the pain in my back. I made it a goal to get to the finish line after that. I’m looking forward to keep healing and keep getting stronger, so I can get my results back.”
In addition, guest rider Ryan Lojack grabbed 6th in XC2 and 18th overall.
“Congratulations to Ryan,” Bennett said. “He did a nice job out there today.”
“We just had some bad luck today with the team,” Bennett continued. “It was a really challenging race in that heat and humidity. Hats off to everyone for being able to compete in a three hour race out there in it. We had another very strong day out of Brian Wolf for us. He seems really healthy and I think he’s going to definitely be on the podium.”
Wolf would like to thank his wife, JG Off Road, FRE, Honda, Elka Suspension, Hiper, Wiseco, Maxxis, Baldwin Motorsports, ATV 4 Play, DID, PCP, Fasst, Quad Tech, Redling Honda, Spyder Graphics, IMS, Moose, ARSFX, JB Racing, Hinson Racing, Precision Racing Products, Sidi/Motonation, Scott Goggles, Fischer Racing, CV4, Acerbis, Impact Solutions and Standard Process.
Grills, Jarrett and Kanney would like to thank JG Off Road, Honda, Kenda, Silkolene, DP Brakes, AXP Racing, Moose, Super Sprox, PG Graphics, Cycra, Tsubaki, Factory Connection, FMF, Works Connection, CV4, BRP, No Toil, Rekluse, IMS, Moto Tassinari, Outerwears, Renthal, G2 Ergonomics and Zip Ty.
The team will return to GNCC racing on Saturday June 23rd- 24th for the Snowshoe GNCC in Snowshoe, W.Va.
For more information, log on to www.jgoffroad.com.
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